Saturday, May 31, 2014

Week 20 Saturday (5/31/14)

Recipe Review

Today’s Recipe and Location:                    Cherry Cheesecake Shooters
         Found in: The Pioneer Woman blog

I figured out that there are 263 calories per serving, if 12 servings are made. (Please note that the calorie counts vary depending on the specific brands of ingredients that you choose to use.)

         Who doesn’t love cheesecake?  If you don’t, we definitely are on different wavelengths. These little shooters were so yummy. Now, I had to make a single modification in the recipe for myself because I can’t eat cherries. I used a lemon pie filling in place of the cherries on my serving. The remainder of the shooters were made with cherries and promptly delivered to the Sandwich Veterinary Hospital. I love to cook for them because they enjoy the recipes. I heard rave reviews from the Vet and I personally loved the lemon cheesecake I created. The almonds really were the finishing touch. These cheesecakes were very easy and quick to make and worth the effort.  If you need a quick dessert – here it is!

Random Reflections

                This week, after studying my recent photographs for the blog, I decided that I needed to take a photography course to improve my skills. I really never learned about all of the functions on my camera and I have never shot a video. This could be a lot of fun and I will keep my mind actively engaged learning new skills and techniques!

Becky’s Bucket List #9
Photography courses
Complete all of Mom’s and my scrapbooks
Go skiing again in Colorado
Meet the Duggar family
Watch every nominee and winner for the Academy Awards to date
Remodel my kitchen
Take piano lessons
Write 2 books for my great-nephews
Travel to Wales
Travel to Scotland
Alaskan cruise

Helpful Home Hints

         This is a helpful home hint for people with small children. My best friend, Donna Dowd purchased a shower curtain of the world. At the time she purchased it, I don’t think she knew how beneficial it would be for her kids. Patrick, her oldest son, won a geography contest because he could identify locations around the world. When asked how he knew the answers, he shared that it was because of that shower curtain in his bathroom. What a great idea for a learning tool for children. Thanks Donna, for a brilliant idea to help kids learn important information without even realizing they are learning.
         I was thinking that parents could create their own learning tool. If you have a kindergarten or first grader, you could write the sight words all over a clear curtain in marker and use it as a teaching tool.
         Wow! Thanks to Donna, I thought of a new way to use your bathroom to learn.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Week 20 Friday (5/30/14)

Recipe Review               

Today’s Recipe and Location:                    Baked French Toast
         Found in: The Pioneer Woman blog

I figured out that there are 328 calories per serving, if 15 servings are made. (Please note that the calorie counts vary depending on the specific brands of ingredients that you choose to use.)

This was so delicious - try it for a weekend delight

         This was a great breakfast that I shared with the Sandwich Veterinary Office. I stayed and shared it and I absolutely loved it. This would be a fast, easy recipe for a buffet table or to take to someone’s home. This one is definitely a keeper. I just love breakfast.
Why Weight?

         I am still on the weight loss roller coaster. I just had an appointment with my cardiologist who said everything was great and to forge ahead. I need to lose between 80 – 100 lbs. one year from today so beginning today, I will use this blog to keep myself on track. I am going to keep a journal and record exercise and calorie count and post it here twice a week. This may be the missing piece of the puzzle for me. Maybe I just need to record the data to keep myself on track. Tomorrow morning it begins again.

Fabulous “Family and Friends” Food

My Mom’s Stromboli Sandwiches

Bake at 350 degrees                                            

1 lb. ground beef
1 Tblsp. chopped onion
½ c. tomato sauce
½ c. ketchup
2 Tblsp. grated Parmesan cheese
½ teasp. garlic powder
¼ teasp. fennel seed
1/8 teasp. ground oregano
4 Kaiser rolls (a must)
4 slices Mozzarella

Garlic spread directions:
Mix together: 2 Tablsp. butter, ¼ teasp. garlic powder, ½ teasp. paprika

Brown ground beef and onion. Add tomato sauce, ketchup, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, fennel seed, and oregano. Cook for 20 minutes. Split Kaiser rolls and spread with 1 teasp. garlic spread. Divide meat mixture evenly on bottom half of rolls.  Top meat mixture with one slice Mozzarella cheese and close sandwich. Wrap in aluminum foil. Heat in preheated oven.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Week 20 Thursday (5/29/14)

Recipe Review                     

Today’s Recipe and Location:  Irish Grilled Cheese        
         Found in: The Pioneer Woman blog

I figured out that there are 619 calories per serving, if 1 serving is made. (Please note that the calorie counts vary depending on the specific brands of ingredients that you choose to use.)

This is one great sammy. The cheese is amazing and I did love the
 corned beef, but not the calories. Bummer!

         I liked this Panini but not as much as the fabulous leftover turkey and Swiss Panini from yesterday. This one was great but it was a lot of calories for one sammy.  I do have to say that it filled me up and satisfied me a great deal. Next time, I think I will skip the sliced corned beef and save 142 calories. 

Random Reflections

I need 70’s
I need sunlight
I need rain every four or five days
I need Round-up
I need flowers
I need summer

(You can tell I wrote this a while ago now that we are in the 80’s)

Irksome Ideas and Images

         This is a crazy topic but it bugs me. I hate my hair in the springtime because it has been frizzing out with all of this rain and humidity.  I feel like I have a fuzz ball on my head. The day starts with sleek, smooth hair and by 3:00 it is big, puffy and highly unattractive.  Of well, spring won’t last forever.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Week 20 Wednesday (5/28/14)

I’M BACK!!! 

         OMG – It feels like it has been so long since I published this blog. I was surprised at the hole that was left in my day. It has been a whole 11 days, yet I felt kinda off kilter each morning.
         The main circuitry board had to be replaced, but fixing it was worth it. I never realized how much I use the computer each day. One day I went into my office to locate directions. No cigar! Another day I entered to look up cities in Kentucky but too bad so sad – no computer. I wanted to figure out the calorie count of my new recipes – out of luck, Chuck!  Being computer-less is a drag.
         The best part was they were able to save everything I had on the computer so when they put in the new circuitry – everything was reloaded and I was back in business. I am now backing this up every Sunday so there is no chance of losing a thing. I do eventually learn from my mistakes, even if a brick has to fall on my head to do so.
My Gorgeous Girls

A Willow Update:
         We went to the vet a couple of weeks ago for grooming and additional tests to make sure Willow was progressing. The blood tests came back GREAT. The areas of concern are now in the normal range, but I am still worried about her continued weight loss. Willow has always weighed about 20 – 21 lbs. After her surgery, she dropped to 18.8 lbs, and last week she stayed at 18.8, but then dropped to 18.6. She weighed in the 17’s so I talked to Dr. K.  We are beginning a plan to help her gain back her weight. She is as skinny as a rail even though to look at her it is hard to tell because of the thickness of her coat. I just want her to gain back her weight  a.s.a.p.  I wish I needed to gain weight and could eat anything I wanted.  Okay, I’m a dreamer.

Doesn't she look sad and pitiful?
Gabbin’ About Gratitude

         I am thankful for all of the jobs that I have had in my life. I have worked in many places and learned many different skills from the people I worked for and with on the job.
         Here is a sampling of my jobs:

Dairy Queen server
Grimms Pharmacy (cosmetics and pharmacy)
Baggies Pharmacy
Illinois Bell (411 directory assistance)
Eckert Drugs in Florida
Capt. Anderson Sightseeing (the boat)
Hardees (in college)
Private tutor
Teaching School

         It’s a varied list but I learned a lot everywhere I worked!

Memory Musings

         In the 70’s our main floor had a shag-carpeted kitchen. Now I know this sounds disgusting, but it those days it was really chic. We girls, used to lie on the floor and talk on the phone. Of course, in those days the phone was attached to the wall. My parents bought a really long cord so we had the run of the kitchen which was better than most homes. I remember laying on the floor with my feet up on the cabinets and talking to friends.
         The home’s floor plan was great for entertaining. The kitchen was large and flowed right into the dining/family room. My parents entertained a lot and as in all homes, the majority of the people ended up in the kitchen.
         I have to compliment my Mom and Dad for the house design and decorating. I have always been proud of where we lived and the home I grew up in.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Week 19 Friday (5/16/14)

Recipe Review              

Today’s Recipe and Location:  Leftover Turkey and Swiss Panini
         Found in: The Pioneer Woman blog

I figured out that there are 684 calories per serving, if 4 servings are made. (Please note that the calorie counts vary depending on the specific brands of ingredients that you choose to use.)

         OMG this is a killer sandwich. Who would have thought to put both Dijon mustard and apricot preserves as a sandwich spread. This sammy has a little kick and just melts in your mouth. Ree also put pecans on the sammy which is another first for me. I have never had nuts on a sandwich – in a salad yes – on a sandwich – no!!  The only alteration I made was to avoid the cranberries because they are not a favorite of mine. This is a fabulous summer sandwich when it is cooler. The Panini maker is a whole lot less heat than the oven. You may even be able to put it on a grill!!

Why Weight?

         Even though I am trying to remember how far I have come so far, I still have some guilt over yo-yoing all over the place. I need to get back to being serious and never giving in to temptation or bad choices until I am back on the serious road. Every thing that enters my mouth has to be counted and then I will be back on the road to success. Then it is okay to splurge once in a while but lately it has become a bad habit. There are too many bad choice days. Deep breath - here we go.

Craft Corner         

         The first thing I learned to knit from my friend, Madonna Strom, was a pair of baby mittens. She purchased the pattern and yard from a wonderful store named Wool and Company in St. Charles. The mittens are extremely easy to make because they have no thumbs. I can make a pair in an evening. They are fun and quick and make a wonderful shower gift. 
         Stop by Wool and Company and check out their classes and patterns!

Here are four different pairs of cute mittens!

Fabulous “Family and Friends” Food

Zucchini Bread
(This may be an early recipe of my Moms)

3 eggs
2 cups of sugar
1 cup oil
2 cups of grated, unpeeled zucchini
1-2 teaspoons of vanilla
3 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of baking soda
¼ teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 cup of nuts
½ cup coconut  (REALLY????)

Directions:  beat eggs until light and foamy. Add sugar, oil, zucchini, and vanilla.  Add all of the dry ingredients together – then add slowly to the other mixture. Lastly, add the nuts and coconut.  Bake in loaf pans at 350 degrees for 1 hour.  This should make 3 pans (7 7/8 x 3 7/8 x 2 ½).

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Week 19 Thursday (5/15/14)

Recipe Review        

Today’s Recipe and Location:  Lemon Rosemary Scones
         Found in: The Pioneer Woman blog

I figured out that there are 122 calories per serving, if 48 mini scone servings are made. (Please note that the calorie counts vary depending on the specific brands of ingredients that you choose to use.)

         I love these scones. I can honestly say that I have never had anything with both lemon and rosemary in a scone or cookie.  These have a light airy feel and the lemon makes me feel that summer is really here. Ree made hers very large and it made 24. I wanted really small ones so that the calorie count would be doable for me. I divided them into 48 scones so they were perfect with a cup of coffee or hot tea.  These were a real hit at school. MANY teachers commented on how great they were to eat.

Random Reflections - The Glorious Garden

         A couple of weeks ago,  I wrote about digging trenches to insure that grass does not creep into your garden like a thief in the night.  I wanted to share with you a photo of the before and after so you can see how the trench serves two purposes. One is protecting the gardens from grass and the other is that is frames the beds so they stand out in the yard.  I really like the look.

Here we have the washed out, post winter trench

Without a clean trench, the beds do not stand out and look beautiful

A close-up of the top trench now redug and beautious

Of course, I had to include this photo because somehow
Willow entered the picture

This is a bed against the back of the house, and
even though the grass has not been mowed,
the bed stands out.

Irksome Ideas and Images

         I was watching a lot of Dr. Phil during the last few weeks and one episode irritated me. I couldn’t believe the number of chances drunk drivers get before their license is removed or they are jailed for hurting others.
         It seems so wrong that the judges let them go with a slap on the wrist. How many innocent people have to die before the penalties match the crime. A mere accident is one thing, but when someone dies, the penalty should be high and the drunk driver should have to serve time for murdering others because they don’t know their limit.
         Use your head people!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Week 19 Wednesday (5/14/14)

Recipe Review       

Today’s Recipe and Location:  Homemade Applesauce
         Found in: The Pioneer Woman blog

I figured out that there are 167 calories per serving, if 12 servings are made. (Please note that the calorie counts vary depending on the specific brands of ingredients that you choose to use.)

It's a little blurry but you get a close-up here.

         Homemade applesauce reminds me of my Grandma. She had this wonderful apple peeler or grinder that was heavy metal and attached to the kitchen table. She always made the best applesauce.
         This homemade applesauce is wonderful. It is a cinnamon applesauce and has so many flavors. Ree gave additional things to add as optional. I added about 1/8 of a cup of maple syrup and it gave it a little extra flavor.  This took less than 30 minutes to create and it is wonderful.
I am really turning into Suzie Homemaker!

Gabbin’ About Gratitude

         I am so thankful for my education. I learned to love learning. Who would have known that a girl who hated school would be a school teacher and love her job as much as I do.  I am so grateful to Mindy Miller and Beth Buttell who convinced me to take my first education class and gave me a lifetime career.

Memory Musings

         I previously wrote about the Kane County Fair and Kim’s metal horses but there were other special things that happened at that fair.
         One year we attended the fair and the big event was the goldfish bowl. The booth had individual fish bowls set up and each bowl contained one beautiful goldfish. If you could toss a ping pong ball into one of the bowls, you got to take the fish home. We spent a lot of time at that booth and took home a lot of fish.
         Another year the main attraction was the duck booth. It was similar to the goldfish bowl booth from previous years but this time you played a game and won a baby duck. The kids in our neighborhood won a total of 11 ducklings. It didn’t take our parents long to realize that we just didn’t have the facilities to keep ducklings. They grew quickly and the foot high fence could not contain them anymore. Once again, my Aunt Marge and Uncle Lyle came to the rescue. They took all 11 white ducklings. One of them grew to be enormous and was quite the pet.
         A big thanks to my Aunt and Uncle for saving our family from two critter nightmares.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Week 19 Tuesday (5/13/14)

Recipe Review                     

Today’s Recipe and Location:  Pasta Alla Vodka
         Found in: The Pioneer Woman blog

I figured out that there are 517 calories per serving, if 10 servings are made. (Please note that the calorie counts vary depending on the specific brands of ingredients that you choose to use.)

This is before it is cooked and the ooey, gooey cheese melts!

         This was another great pasta dish. The vodka and heavy cream add so much flavor that this would be another “go to” pasta dish to have frequently. I shared this dinner with my Mom and Aunt Ada and we all enjoyed it very much. This one is a keeper

Why Weight?

         After having gone through a three-month plateau, I have to remind myself to give myself three pats on the back for what I have achieved so far. I have high expectations for my success at finally reaching a “normal” weight. This current deviation from success is just a test. I think my mind fought my only goal set to date. I got within four pounds of it and then self sabotaged. I just need to reach that goal to help me motivate myself to keep going. I hate that this is so flippin’ hard!  Oh well, cheers to my success so far and I need to get the lead out and get to that goal.

My Gorgeous Girls       
Willow happily relaxes

A curious Sage is always on guard